Anglers lining up for derby
Written by Manitowoc Herald Times   
Thursday, 29 June 2006 15:53

The tents are set up at the marina. The boats are gassed up in the harbor. And the lines are ready to hit the water. Now, it's just a matter of whether or not the fish will bite.

Roughly 500 anglers are expected to hit Lake Michigan for the 32nd annual Northeastern Wisconsin Salmon Derby this weekend to vie for more than $17,000 in prizes. The tournament begins Friday and will be headquartered at the Manitowoc Marina.

"This is what we look forward to all year," said Scott Habermann, president of the Northeastern Wisconsin Great Lakes Sport Fishermen, which hosts the event. "The fish are biting fairly well (on the lake). At this point in time, they are biting better probably than any other year — except for last year."

Last year's event was one of the most productive in the history of the tournament as more than 2,700 fish were registered, including 1,849 chinook (king) salmon.

In 2004, a total of 1,845 fish were registered during the three-day tournament.

"It's going to be tough to live up to last year," Habermann said. "This event brings in a lot of people to Manitowoc every year and the better the fishing, the more anglers there will be."

Although the fish were plentiful last year, there were only a handful of huge fish registered during the tournament, which has a 15-inch minimum.

Habermann said that may be the case again this year, however, he does see some bigger fish looming on the lake's horizon.

"I think as far as size, everything will be similar to last year," Habermann said. "With the abundance of fish out there they've gotten a little smaller.

"But last summer we had a good hatch so hopefully we'll see some bigger fish. It may not be this year, but they are going to get bigger."

Competition will be held in five divisions — brown trout, rainbow trout, lake trout, coho salmon and chinook salmon — and prizes will be given out to the top seven places in each division. The five division winners will then draw for the top prize packages, which are all valued between $900 and $1,000.

Weigh-ins will be at the Manitowoc Marina and at Gander Mountain in Sheboygan, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. both Friday and Saturday, while the final day weigh-in will be from 10 a.m.-noon at the Manitowoc Marina only. Derby tickets are $25 if purchased in advance and $30 after the derby starts.

Super tournament back

n addition, the Tri-Port Super Tournament will return beginning at 5 a.m. and running until noon on Saturday, with anglers able to fish out of the ports of Manitowoc, Two Rivers and Sheboygan. There is a minimum $1,000 grand prize at stake for the winning boat.

There will again be a Kids Fishing Derby on Saturday beginning with registration at 7 a.m., with the tournament to run from 8-10 a.m. The tournament is for kids ages 4-15 and worms will be provided by Bubba's Place.

"It's always a big hit," Habermann said of the kids derby. "There will be lots of prizes for the kids and food available. The kids like to go fishing and they really like the prizes."

The Kids Fishing Derby is just one of the ways the NEWGLSF makes the derby weekend a family-oriented activity.

The event will feature the music of Oil Can Harry performing on Friday night from 7-11 p.m., with an array of bands playing on Saturday and a DJ for the final day on Sunday leading up to the awards ceremony.

There will also be plenty of food and beverages available throughout the weekend.

Being the Fourth of July weekend, people like to get out and do things," Habermann said. "We like to have people come down and listen to the music and enjoy the weekend."


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